Justin Bieber has sold ownership of his music publishing and record catalog to Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital for $200 million, the company announced, marking the industry’s latest blockbuster rights deal. The sale has been rumored for a few weeks now, but the 28-year-old joined the recently cashed-from-catalog artist Whos His Who.
Hipgnosis did not publicly disclose the terms of the deal, but a source close to the matter told AFP news agency it was worth about $200m.“The impact of Justin Bieber on global culture over the last 14 years has truly been remarkable,” Hipgnosis chief Merck Mercuriadis, a longtime music industry executive, said in a statement on Tuesday.“At only 28 years of age, he is one of a handful of defining artists of the streaming era that has revitalized the entire music industry, taking a loyal and worldwide audience with him on a journey from teen phenomenon to a culturally important artist.”
Bieber’s longtime home Universal will continue to administer the catalog, another source close to the deal said, and still owns the artist’s master recordings. Hipgnosis has acquired the artist’s stake in his masters as well as his neighboring rights – a royalty that sees its owner receive a payment every time a song is played publicly. Contemporary stars, including Justin Timberlake and Shakira, have sold large stakes in their work – both also struck deals with Hipgnosis – but the move has mostly been seen among legacy artists like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
Springsteen’s catalog was reportedly handed over to Sony for $500 billion, but the staggering amount of money has been left behind for older artists trying to get their finances in order and steady earnings from proven music and streaming. It is considered a safe bet for both investors looking for profitability. Although recent catalogs are seen as riskier territory, Bieber is one of the best-selling artists of all time and Hipgnosis currently holds the record for her 21st-century biggest hits, including Baby and Sorry.